By LUKE KAMA
THE K3 billion rehabilitation work on the Highlands Highway – from Nadzap in Lae to Kagamuga in Western Highlands – is expected to be launched today in Goroka.
Works Secretary David Wereh said it was a huge project.
“The rehabilitation of the Highlands Highway is an investment in the economy and the future of this country. The project is no longer a dream,” Wereh said.
“It’s a reality. It will significantly address the road maintenance need of one of our important roads.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is expected to officiate at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Wereh described the K3billion Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Programme as a “landmark project”.
“(It) will bear the testament of the O’Neill government’s promise and commitment to improve and deliver quality roads in the country.”
The three major contractors are the Metallurgical Corporation of China Limited (MCCL), China Wu Yi Ltd and China Harbour
Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).
The work covers 428km of road and will be done over 10 years.
The first trench is for three years, costing of around K1billion.
The second is for another three years for around K1billion, replacing all Bailey bridges with concrete double-lane bridges.
The third trench which will also cost around K1billion, for the construction of supporting facilities.
The MCCL will be responsible for the section from Nadzab to Henganofi covering 210 km at a cost of K229million.
China Wu Yi Ltd is in charge of the section from Henganofi to Kagamuga Airport covering 161km and costing K161million.
CHEC will do the Chimbu section of about 57kil from Mangiro to Munde costing about K170million.
Wereh said the three firms were picked “through a very stringent bidding process” supervised independently by the Asian Development Bank.
By LUKE KAMA